Big 12 Football Preview - Kansas State

Life after the NCAA's number 11 all-time rusher begins this season for the Kansas State Wildcats.

Last season: 4-7 overall (2-6 Big 12). Iowa State scored three touchdowns in the final four minutes to beat Kansas State 37-23. The victory broke Iowa State's 10-year losing streak against the Wildcats.


This season: Kansas State travels to Ames on Nov. 5


Key Returners – The Wildcats will return 30 letterwinners, including 16 starters.


"Well, I am one to attempt to promote taking everything a step at a time, you know, and so, when the time comes, our youngsters will report on August 4th, and when that's here, I will be excited about that day," said head coach Bill Snyder. "Right now we have some things to accomplish today, and there will be some things to accomplish tomorrow."




Last season the Wildcats averaged 30 points per game, which was good enough for fifth in the Big 12 and 36th nationally. It was a balanced attack as Kansas State averaged 185.9 yard per game on the ground and 177.0 through the air.


At quarterback juniors Dylan Meier and Allen Webb both saw action at quarterback. The two combined to pass for a little under 2,000 yards and rushed for 650 yards. Both are listed as co-starters heading into training camp.


Meier was injured throughout last season but Snyder thinks Meier is right on schedule.


"Interesting thing about Dylan, he went virtually the entire year last year, was hurt early in the season, at that point in time on didn't practice, with the exception of the running game and handing the ball off," Snyder said. "He didn't throw until Saturdays. Still he did a fairly decent job, fairly accurate thrower. So I guess the intelligence that he has and the understanding of the system will allow him to do that. I think now with him back being able to throw the ball on a regular basis and practice daily will be a great asset for him and for us."


Snyder said he expects the quarterback position to be very competitive this fall.


"I thought Allen Webb made an immense amount of improvement during the course of our spring practices," Snyder said. "I think the two of them, I think, are -- even though most people would look at them and say they are diametrically opposed in terms of what their skills are, but I think they are somewhat similar.


"Most people would think of Allen Webb as more athletic, but Dylan is an athletic young guy as well. So it will be interesting, quite obviously, but I think above and beyond all of it, what I appreciate is the opportunity for it to be very, very competitive and, once again, when you have those kind of opportunities for young guys to compete against each other at a particular spot, you would like to think that if they are competitive young guys, it will help improve each one of them."


The biggest hole on the Wildcat offense will be at running back – the NCAA's number 11 all-time rusher Darren Sproles will now be playing on Sundays.


"Well, you can't replace Darren Sproles," Snyder said. "I think we all understand that. We were an 11-win team before Darren Sproles for many years, and I would like to think that the youngsters we have -- it will be very competitive, I guess I should address it that way."


The four players vying for his position combined for just 77 yards last season, with 71 of those yards coming from junior Thomas Clayton. Senior Carlos Alsup, junior Donnie Anders and redshirt freshman Parrish Fisher will also push for playing time.


"We came out of spring practice with Thomas Clayton being our number one running back on the depth chart, and that's the way it will start out, but it will be very competitive, and it may -- any one of those four probably could fit into the spot," Synder said. "As I said, you can't replace Darren Sproles, but I think with Thomas and Carlos, those are young guys somewhat similar in style to Josh Scobey that you can remember played for us as a starter, and I think Parrish Fisher, who is a youngster from here in Texas, is an up-and-comer, and I think he really will be into the mix."


The wide receiver position is pretty solid for the Wildcats with three starters returning. Senior Davin Dennis and juniors Jermaine Moreira and Yamon Figurs tallied over 1,100 yards and seven of Kansas State's 12 receiving touchdowns.


The most inexperienced area of Kansas State's offense will be on the offensive line. Senior Jeromey Clary is the only returning player on the line. Clary was a second team all-Big 12 performer last season at right tackle.




Every season from 1998 until 2003 the Kansas State defense was among the top six nationally in total defense. The Wildcats will try to rise to national prominence again this season.


"We still have a ways to go defensively, and that's true with other segments of the program as well, but I think we have made improvement," Snyder said. "I thought we got better during the off-season program. I thought we got better with spring practice. I hope we are getting better during the course of the summer."


The top three Wildcat tacklers will return to the defense, along with seven players with starting experience.


Senior Scott Edmonds will anchor the line; he was a second-team all-Big 12 selection last season. He had a team-high 8.5 tackles for a loss and lead the squad with seven sacks.


There will be lots of experience returning in the secondary with four players returning. Second team all-Big 12 performer Brandon Archer highlights that list. He led Kansas State with 75 tackles a year ago.


Senior Ted Sims will begin the fall as the starter at middle linebacker. He was a pre-season Butkus Award candidate last season.


The K-State secondary will house the most depth on the defense.


Senior Jesse Tetuan has the most experience with 29 career starts. He was second on the team in tackles with 58 last season.


Special teams:


Honorable mention all-Big 12 punter Tim Reyer will return to the squad this season. The sophomore averaged 42.4 yards on 36 punts and ten of his punts went over 50 yards.


The placekicker position is still up in the air, junior Jeff Snodgrass and sophomore Tim Schwerdt will compete for the job.


The Wildcats had the nation's number seven kickoff coverage unit a year ago.


Fast Fact:


A season ago Kansas State saw its 11-year bowl streak snapped, but the Wildcats are still one of eight teams nationally to appear in a bowl game 11 of the last 12 years. The other colleges are: Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech.


The Schedule:


9/3/05           vs.       Florida International

9/10/05        @         Marshall

9/24/05        vs.       North Texas

10/1/05        @         Oklahoma

10/8/05        vs.       Kansas

10/15/05      @         Texas Tech

10/22/05      vs.       Texas A&M

10/29/05      vs.       Colorado

11/5/05        @         Iowa State

11/12/05      @         Nebraska

11/19/05      vs.       Missouri

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